In a world where phones and tablets are the “it” items to own, two manufacturers stand out above the rest in terms of quality and sheer awesomeness: Apple and Samsung.
Apple is best known for its iPhone and iPads while Samsung has played a strong foil with their Galaxy series of phones and tablets. Unfortunately, while choice is always good for the consumers there’s just one problem, Apple and Samsung (and Google) can’t stop suing each other.
You see, Apple and Samsung (and in some cases, Android’s developer Google) seem to be taking each other to court in pretty much every country where both of their products appear claiming that the other copied their designs. The hope of either company is to get their competitor’s products banned in order to be the only ones able to sell their goods, effectively creating a monopoly. The crazy thing is it’s actually working in some places.
A few weeks ago the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus phone was banned in America when a U.S. District Court Judge sided with Apple in their claim that the phone infringes on one of their patents.
According to the judge, the phone is “no more than colourably different,” than the iPhone and infringes on Apple’s “slide to unlock” patent.
A week prior, the same judge also ruled in favour of Apple in a suit that sought to have Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 barred from sale as she found it also infringed upon certain Apple patents.
The tablet was also banned in Germany and Australia last year under similar rulings.
Both devices will be taken off store shelves once Apple puts up a $96 million bond that would cover Samsung’s expected losses should the rulings be overturned at a later date.
Late last year, Samsung also tried to get the sale of the iPhone 4S banned in Italy and France, citing a 3G technology that made use of existing Samsung patents.
All in all, there have been around 10 lawsuits filed by either Samsung or Google against Apple and vice versa in the past year alone and it’s time to stop.
I’ve had some hands-on time with both Samsung Galaxy and Apple devices and truly, the differences between the two are, for the most part, pretty big.
Apple’s iOS is designed for its simplicity and ease-of-use while many Android devices are a bit more raw in terms of usability. However, what Android devices lack in terms of ease-of-use they make up for in horsepower, with many Android-running Samsung devices boasting more powerful specs than Apple’s. I’d liken it to the Mac versus PC debate.
Ultimately, these lawsuits need to stop. The phones should be judged for their overall experience rather than little features such as sliding to unlock or whatever else. If Apple or Samsung/Google were ever successful in having their competitor completely banned, how exciting would it be for consumers to only be able to purchase an iPhone or a Galaxy Nexus? Not very.
All companies involved need to focus on continuing to innovate their own products and while that may include looking to each other once in a while for inspiration, maintain the direction that both have been going. The market is big enough for everyone, so chill out with the lawsuits.
Finally, I’ll leave you with a quote from the late Steve Jobs, founder of Apple.
“Good artist copy, great artists steal.”